Preparing For Retirement

Q: I’m 55 and preparing for retirement from my present job, but am not ready to stop working. How do I make a rewarding career transition?

A: As many people approached their 60s, they begin feeling that they must make tracks out of the workforce. Unfortunately for some, the thought of retirement is met with much trepidation and little preparation.

“Retirement doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve stopped working. You may have other skills that you want to apply in different ways,” says Hardy Keith Edwards, president of Millennium 2000, a Los Angeles educational and career counseling firm.

First, ask yourself if retirement is what you really want. You may be longing for a change of atmosphere–say, switching from a career in finance to something in the environmental field. Consider applying the skills you gleaned in the workforce in a nonprofit group, a school or a literacy project, suggests Edwards.

Don’t retire without a game plan. Determine what your skills are and then apply them. Join groups that will provides outlets. Volunteer at a local community organization or become a deacon or an elder in the church.

Be sure to get your finances in order. “It’s never too late to build a relationship with a financial planner,” advises Edwards.

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